Cooking with Vegetable Oil Linked to Cancer and Other Diseases, Experts Reveal

Nov 09, 2015 08:00 PM EST | By Ma. Danilyn Miravalles

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Vegetable oil, when heated releases toxic chemicals linked to cancer and other diseases according to the latest research. Compared to warming up butter, olive oil and lard in tests created much lower levels of aldehydes. Coconut oil released the lowest levels of the harmful chemicals. Through The Telegraph, experts recently suggest that food should be fried or cooked in olive oil, coconut oil, butter or even lard as a substitute.

Aldehydes, a chemical linked to diseases such as cancer, heart disease and dementia are produced when vegetable oil is heated as discovered by the experts.

The research of Martin Grootveld, a professor of bioanalytical chemistry and chemical pathology,  showed "a typical meal of fish and chips", fried in vegetable oil, had as much as 100 to 200 times more toxic aldehydes than the safe daily limit set by the World Health Organization.

To support this discovery, a separate research from a University of Oxford professor was conducted. Professor John Stein, Oxford's emeritus professor of neuroscience, said that partly as a result of corn and sunflower oils, "the human brain is changing in a way that is as serious as climate change threatens to be". This suggested that the fatty acids in vegetable oils are contributing to other health problems.

Professor Stein trusts that considering vegetable oils are rich in omega 6 acids, they are contributing to a reduction in critical omega 3 fatty acids in the brain by replacing them.

He said: "If you eat too much corn oil or sunflower oil, the brain is absorbing too much omega 6, and that effectively forces out omega 3."

"I believe the lack of omega 3 is a powerful contributory factor to such problems as increasing mental health issues and other problems such as dyslexia."

As recommended by NHS, find an alternative for "foods high in saturated fat with lower-fat versions". NHS also warns against frying food in butter or lard, suggesting corn oil, sunflower oil and rapeseed oil instead. Saturated fats raise cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of heart disease.

However Prof Grootveld, of De Montfort University in Leicester, who conducted several experiments, said: "People have been telling us how healthy polyunsaturates are in corn oil and sunflower oil. But when you start messing around with them, subjecting them to high amounts of energy in the frying pan or the oven, they undergo a complex series of chemical reactions which results in the accumulation of large amounts of toxic compounds."

Prof Grootveld's team measured levels of "aldehydic lipid oxidation products" (LOPs), produced when oils were warmed in different temperatures. The research revealed that coconut oil released the lowest levels of aldehydes, and three times more aldehydes were produced when heating corn oil and sunflower oil than butter.

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